US house prices fall by 3pc

US house prices fell by three per cent in the first-quarter of the year and will drop by as much as nine per cent in 2011, according to research by real estate website Zillow. In the first quarter, homes were on average 8.3 per cent less valuable than the same time last year. The research also said more than 28 per cent of US homeowners are in negative equity on their mortgages, with little hope for rising values bringing them back above the water-line in the next few years. Areas with high unemployment such as Detroit and Chicago, where almost half of all homeowners are in negative equity, saw the biggest falls in house valuations.